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Fennel Lentil and Sausage

A couple weeks ago it was a beautiful sunny day in Seattle – an unseasonably early week of Spring that only served to get everyone’s hopes up. So I took full advantage and walked to Pike Place Market for some fresh fish and produce. One thing I picked up was this fennel:


These fennels?

I’ve never cooked with fennel before, and evidently I’m the only one because I posted on facebook for suggestions and got an impressive response. (Guys, who didn’t tell me about fennel? What else do I need to know?)

I tried several of the recipe recommendations including a fennel salad thanks to comments from Adam, Lauren and Linsday, as well as garnishing cioppino with the fuzzy top part thanks to Adrienne and Heather. And this one came from Evan with the warmest wishes of all: “It’s high in fiber…stay regular!”

Fennel Lentil and Sausage Ingredients


  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 4.5 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp salt – I love Celtic Sea Salt for flavor and mineral content
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced (stalks removed)
  • Fennel fronts, chopped
  • .25 cups olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 Italian Sausage – I used these vegan guys here
  • 3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • .5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar plus more to adjust flavor when done


  1. Cook lentils in water with .5 tsp salt uncovered for about 15 minutes – you want them to be just tender but not falling apart
  2. In a high-edged pan over medium, heat oil and stir in onion, carrot, fennel bulb, fennel seeds and remaining salt – cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender
  3. Drain lentils and stir into vegetable with .25 to .5 cups of the cooking liquid
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, pepper, fennel fronds and vinegar
  5. In the meantime, heat the vegan sausage and cut into chunks – you could just add them into the vegetables to heat at the same time or use a separate skillet if you want to brown them (and if you’re using real meat, definitely cook fully in a separate skillet, then cut into chunks)
  6. Serve the lentil and vegetables with a few chunks of sausage on top and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil plus more vinegar and/or salt to taste

Stay regular, friends!